Reading, Wishing, and Watching

by Jay Cuthrell
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This week I am sharing my thoughts on recent reading, wish lists, and viewing habits.

Getting Informed

If you aren’t already reading Kris Krüg, you should subscribe to his “Future Proof Creatives” newsletter.

Recently, Kris wrote about what he calls the “Adaptability Paradox” and his newsletter got me thinking:

“The paradox lies in the tension between the need for change and the quest for a stable identity. As we pivot faster than a poorly planned startup, we might just find ourselves wondering if our true selves got lost somewhere between version 2.0 and 3.0. It’s a conundrum fit for the digital age: how do we change with the times without losing sight of who we are? Or, to put it in terms more familiar to a seasoned internet traveler, how do we keep our profile updated without forgetting the password to our own soul?”
Kris Krüg

My thoughts immediately questioned my own identity and the nostalgia flooded in quickly.

That reminded me of the original swapping experts of avatars… actors.

“I liked my old teeth. I have a moulding of them on a shelf.”
Christian Bale

So, perhaps Kris would say we’re all going to need our own “moulding” of ourselves…

“The NFT of Dorian Gray”

Reflections on Self

As I’m turning fifty-something (52!) this year, I’m reflecting on how fortunate I am to have various avatars. I acknowledge that I benefitted from and am still benefitting from my societal privileges and social privileges to be able to write in this in a digital newsletter medium.

In addition to my online writer avatar, much of the avatar collection that I carry with me is a function of who is looking or remembering. I still remember my telco ISP consultant nerd avatar of the late 1990s and 2000s and the data center cloud consultant nerd avatar of the 2010s.

Perhaps, if social media had existed in the early 1990s, I could have been a mediocre engineering student avatar or a materials science lab grunt avatar. Perhaps, if social media had existed in the 1980s, I could have been a seafood restaurant busboy avatar or a building supplies retail assistant avatar.

Then again, maybe it’s for the best. Me rocking a mullet on 1980s-era TikTok is a multiverse moment we’ve been spared.

The longer I last, the more avatars I acquire and accumulate. Also, through the memory of others, an ever-longer tail of avatars I assumed I had retired lives on in the present and future.

🎶 “You never know just how you look through other people’s eyes” 🎶 – Gibby Haynes, Paul Leary, King Coffey

Reading Wish List

Much of the reading I’ve discovered within the past few years is from not trying to live every moment online. FOMO is real though and I have come to grips with how ignorant I am on so many topics that, primarily, are online… which makes the physical in-real-life world an even greater example of my ignorance. 🤣

My time investment in watching TV ended many years ago. Typically, streaming gives me a chance to somewhat understand the origins of memes years later.

Events like SXSW give me a chance to hear about books from people in the real world. Anyway, that’s why my Thriftbooks wish list is rarely empty — and I’m sharing a sample below from the list and what is scheduled to arrive in the coming days.

Watching List Suggestions

Newsletters have turned me on to great YouTube content as well. I’ve also mashed that subscribe button for more creators on YouTube Premium since SXSW 2024 helped reinforce my fuller understanding of the numbers game for creators — and below are just a few that I enjoy viewing from time to time as well as why I felt compelled to mash subscribe.

What’s the probability that 2024 will be the year I decide to do something meaningful with my own YouTube channel?

Until then… place your bets.


I am linking to my disclosure.

p.s. As I’ve gotten older, I have come to appreciate getting snail mail. If you have time to drop me a postcard, I’m going to be scanning the picture side of the postcards I’ve received and linking to a Fudge Sunday Reader Postcards gallery (with suitable redactions and filtering for greater anonymity) as a newsletter trailer of sorts. Stay tuned! ✉️


✍️ 🤓 Edit on Github 🐙 ✍️

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